South Africa On A Plate: What Food To Expect On A Trip

Posted by Leeanne Potgieter on

What can you expect on your plate when you come on safari?

The answer depends on your choice of destination. Some destinations lend themselves to fresh ingredients from nearby farmers' markets - think hotels and gourmet restaurants in the Cape Winelands. Other settings, like the Okavango Delta, are so deep in pristine wilderness that everything on your plate is flown or trucked in on regular supply runs.

Wherever you are, you can count on tasty, wholesome food made by skilled hands and served with Africa's quintessential warm hospitality. Here's a quick look at what you can expect on your plate from safari lodges to tropical islands and popular city stopovers.

  1. Flavoursome menu offering at lodges

Many travellers don’t realise just how big Africa is - have a look at all the countries that fit into this vast continent and you have an idea how great the distance can be between a luxury safari lodge and the nearest town. Our rule of Thumb for what you can expect on your plate - The more remote the lodge: the simpler the menu, the more central the lodge: the more sophisticated the menu. Few lodges offer a la carte dining – you’re much more likely to encounter generous buffets, platters of delicious homemade snacks and tea-time treats. As per the rule above, the level of sophistication - and the number of options - depends on the lodge’s distance from suppliers. 

  1. Delightful meals on mobile safaris

Mobile safaris have all the essential creature comforts with the added advantage of a camp that moves locations with you as you explore. These tented camps provide much more exclusivity than most lodges allow and offer the most authentic safari experience in Africa - a contemporary take on the expeditions of early explorers.

What can you expect on your plate on a mobile safari in Africa? The cook will delight and surprise your taste buds with simple, well-cooked food. Expect your plate to be filled with classic favourites, generous portions and tasty surprises, like fresh baked bread, all created in an innovative bush kitchen. As with all safari cuisine, your mobile safari cook needs to know well in advance if you have any special dietary requirements.

  1. Award-winning food on island escapes

The Indian Ocean laps at Africa's eastern seaboard, which is home to gorgeous archipelagos, islands and atolls. This coastline offers sun-drenched days, star-lit seafood feasts and a choice of award-winning restaurants, desert island picnics, and utterly romantic dinners. With their natural abundance of seafood, the islands are famous for fusion cuisine from aromatic French-Creole, to Portuguese-inspired peri-peri chicken and delicious vegetarian curries.

What can you expect on your plate on a tropical island escape? In the resorts, expect generous buffets with a wide range of options, while the smaller, more exclusive hotels offer elegant set menus. You can count on European dishes served with an optional island twist, plenty of fresh tropical fruit and some of the best seafood in the world.

  1. Colonial cooking heritage at a city stop-over

As Africa's undisputed gourmet capital, Cape Town is a destination all on its own. This beautiful city at the southern tip of the continent is home to restaurants repeatedly admired on the World's 50 Best Restaurants list and vineyards that influenced the Europe's top winemakers since Vin de Constance debuted in the 1700s. But what of the less well known and celebrated stop-over cities?

The good news is that Africa's hub cities are often great destinations in themselves offering more to do and home to restaurants that blend the best of their colonial cooking heritage with the tastiest local spices and ingredients - a certain feast for all the senses!

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